#136 Kansas State Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Kansas State Wildcats
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #136
Conference Rank: #8 Big 12
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Kansas State is coming off their worst season under Bruce Weber after finishing 9-20 last year. The nine wins are their lowest as a program since the 1999-00 season. The Wildcats were likely not quite as bad as their record suggests, but a down year in the always strong Big 12 can lead to a lot of losses. Kansas State did win four of their last six games, including a win over Oklahoma and a competitive six-point loss to eventual national champion Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament. This year, the Wildcats return four starters while also adding three transfers that should help strengthen the roster and lead to a better season.

2020-21 Record: 9-20, 4-14
2020-21 Postseason: None
Coach: Bruce Weber
Coach Record: 170-130 at Kansas State, 483-285 overall
Key Departed Players:
Dajuan Gordon, Guard, 9.1 ppg
Antonio Gordon, Forward, 5.8 ppg
Rudi Williams, Guard, 4.8 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Nijel Pack, Sophomore, Guard, 12.7 ppg
Mike McGuirl, Senior, Guard, 11.8 ppg
Davion Bradford, Sophomore, Center, 7.7 ppg
Selton Miguel, Sophomore, Guard, 7.2 ppg
Kaosi Ezeagu, Junior, Forward, 5.2 ppg
Montavious Murphy, Sophomore, Forward, 2.8 ppg
Luke Kasubke, Sophomore, Guard, 2.2 ppg
Carlton Linguard, Junior, Forward, 2.2 ppg
Seryee Lewis, Sophomore, Forward, 2.0 ppg
Key New Players:
Maximus Edwards, Freshman, Guard
Logan Landers, Freshman, Forward
Ismael Massoud, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Wake Forest
Markquis Nowell, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Little Rock
Mark Smith, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Missouri
Kansas State returns four starters, including both double-digit scorers from last season. Nijel Pack had a strong freshman campaign averaging 12.7 points, 3.8 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.2 steals. Meanwhile, Mike McGuirl elected to use his extra year of eligibility to return as a fifth-year senior. McGuirl had his best season last year averaging 11.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists. Davion Bradford and Selton Miguel both started upward of 20 games as freshmen and will be back as sophomores this season. Kansas State also returns a lot of their depth with five bench players coming back for 2021-22. Additions from the transfer market is where the Wildcats may be most likely to make improvements this season though. Mark Smith is a 6-5 guard from Missouri who also elected to return to college for a fifth season. Smith spent the last three seasons at Missouri where he started 60 games, averaged 10.3 points and shot 37.5% from three. Kansas State was one of the worst shooting teams in the nation last year, so Smith’s shooting is a very welcome addition. Markquis Nowell should also help in the scoring department as a transfer from Little Rock. Nowell played in only 15 games last season, but in 2019-20 he earned All-Sun Belt honors behind 17.2 points, 4.9 assists and 2.2 steals per game. The third transfer is Ismael Massoud who spent the last two seasons at Wake Forest. Massoud started only eight games in his Wake Forest career, but averaged north of 15 points and six rebounds each season. All three transfers mixed with four returning starters puts Kansas State in a position to be much more competitive in the Big 12 this season.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 61.8 (331st in nation, 10th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.2 (178, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.2 (293, 10)
Field-Goal Defense: 46.0 (281, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.6 (243, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 29.6 (319, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.4 (295, 10)
Rebound Margin: -0.1 (184, 8)
Assists Per Game: 13.0 (181, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.9 (280, 8)